Institute for Social Private Law

Risk Assessment and Covid-19: Systems at work (or not) in England and Sweden

Time:Tuesday 21 September 10-12 (Swedish time, summer, GMT+2)

Place: The seminar will be held via Zoom https://stockholmuniversity.zoom.us/j/5733146713

Language:English

Presenters: Tonia Novitz, professor at Bristol University and Peter Andersson, senior lecturer at the University of Gothenburg.

Commentators: Hampus Andersson, work environment expert at Kommunal, the Swedish Municipal Workers’ Union, and Gunnar Sundquist ,expert at The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, the employers’ organisation that represents local government in Sweden.

England has one of the highest rates of excess deaths in Europe due to Covid-19, while Sweden has experienced the highest among Nordic countries. The study presented at this seminar considers how England and Sweden have addressed the work-related risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic, evaluating their systems of assessment and implementation of precautionary measures.

In both countries risk assessment plays a pre-emptive role (preventing harms) and a defensive role (preventing liability). This comparative project exposes the limitations and different objectives of the English and Swedish systems. In England, risks merely need to be managed insofar as this is reasonably practicable while, in Sweden, it is necessary to avoid serious risks.

Three crucial factors are identified, which affect the efficiency of English and Swedish responses to the Covid-19 crisis: who is the legitimate subject of any risk assessment; what risks require preventative or remedial action; and which actors wield influence in these processes.

The seminar is open for all. It is free of charge and no registration is required. It is part of the research project An inclusive and sustainable Swedish labour law– the way aheadfunded by the Swedish Research Council.

Welcome!